A DOG will compete for a national award after being selected by a specialist dog food brand.

Border Collie Mabel, from Spennymoor, was chosen by Autarky to run in the competition after the brand recognised her hard work.

Despite not being the easiest dog to train, according to her owner, she has enjoyed great success in flyball, where two teams of dogs go head-to-head over a line of hurdles and catch a tennis ball.

Mabel’s owner, Janet Anderson, said: “Mabel loves flyball, but she was not the easiest dog to train.

"Over time, her confidence increased, and in 2018 she ran in the Crufts team, reaching the semi-finals.

"2019 proved to be her breakthrough year, and at Crufts she ran with her Karmandos teammates, finishing in third place.

“To finish the year, at the Commandos Annual Flyball Awards night she was voted as the Best Bitch and Best Collie by the club members.

"Mabel could not have achieved any of this without her teammates.”

Categories in the competition are Sports & Performance Dogs, Service Dogs, Healthcare & Assistance Dogs and Media Star Dogs.

The public will have the chance to vote for the winner of each category, with the overall winner being chosen by a team of expert judges, including Your Dog Magazine editor Sarah Wright.

Sam Horrell, Autarky CEO, said: “We are thrilled to be highlighting the hard work of active dogs across the UK and giving them the chance to be recognised with a national award.

"We hope that the public will be as inspired by the amazing dedication of these dogs to their chosen sport as we are. Good luck to all of the nominees.”

Mabel is one of five dogs competing in the Sports & Performance Dogs category, and they have all been nominated by national organisations relevant to their chosen sport.

The award ceremony for the Autarky Hardest Working Dog will take place at Dodson & Horrell Chatsworth International Horse Trials 2020 in May, where the overall winner will be presented with a prize, including a hamper of canine products worth £500 and a year’s worth of Autarky food.

For more information about the campaign, to read about all five dogs nominated for the first category and your chance to vote, visit www.autarkyfoods.com/hardestworkingdog/